Like most people–I imagine–I like my personal world to be orderly and balanced. I confess, however, that I am one of those people who sits across from you at a table in a restaurant and nervously pushes things around until they’re in a position I can be at peace with. Utensils in their proper places, plate turned around just so, salt and pepper centered within easy reach of everyone. If I’m in a bathroom and find the toilet paper is rolling from the bottom versus the top, I’ll turn it around. Sometimes I test myself to see if I can leave it, but most times, sadly, I can’t. If I do manage to, I feel the thrill of rebellion, the power of overcoming my obsessive-compulsive feeling of righteousness, of feeling almost like a normal, oblivious, apathetic person! Or of someone who wasn’t raised in a military household, perhaps.
A couple of days ago I was in the University Book Store, browsing around the merchandise section, waiting for Joe who was on an errand, and came across a rack displaying a colorful array of socks and slippers. Little Miss Matched, they were called, a play on words, as each package of socks came with not two, but three socks, none of which were the same. It goes without saying that the toilet paper freak’s craving for orderliness includes clothing that matches. And if my underthings match my outerthings, it’s like a superstitious subscription for a good day, by golly! So, these socks in their wild colors and conflicting patterns…
I was turning away anyway, after I saw the toe-(shudder!!) socks (I also have toe separation anxiety issues–I mean, if toes were meant to be that separate from each other, they’d be more like hands, wouldn’t they?), but then a set (not a pair, but a set) of fuzzy non-threatening black and white socks caught my eye. When I reached out to pet them, as soft and friendly as a stuffed-animal, I had to pause and reconsider my mismatched prejudice. So cozy and perfect for Fall, and I liked the individual patterns even if they didn’t match each other, plus I figured I could outsmart them and buy two identical packs and have three pairs of matched socks. Ha!
But in the spirit of stepping outside the boundaries of my comfort zone, I opted to buy the single set. Oh radical me! Joe was wide-eyed with amazement at my feat of derring-do! Today, I wore one wide-striped black and white sock with a black with white polka-dots sock, out in public, no less, with nary a thought, except how nicely they went with my black and white Converse sneakers. Of course, what comfort I took in this color balance was soon to be disrupted.
On a tour this afternoon of a local brewery, with a group of strangers, Joe turned to look at me and smile, then cocked his head and looked at me closer, then leaned in to whisper that my eyebrows were green. Apparently I didn’t scrub hard enough, didn’t look in the mirror close enough this morning to get all traces of costume makeup from the party we went to last night! After we got into the car and I looked myself, I did take comfort in the fact that although green, they were at least the same shade.